Material damage


The following list defines some of the terms found on the Vehicle Claims History Report, which you or your customer may be unfamiliar with.

If you do not find the answer to your question, please contact us and we will be happy to help.


Canadian Import: The vehicle was imported into B.C. from another Canadian Province or Territory.

Foreign Import: The vehicle was imported into B.C. from outside Canada.

If "Inspection Required" is shown on the report, a peace officer, authorized to enforce the Motor Vehicle Act, may have issued a Notice and Order (Number 1 or Number 2) against this vehicle. This means it may not comply with safety and repair standards and may be required to pass a mechanical/safety inspection (at a Designated Inspection Facility) before it can be licensed and insured.

Please note: Your customer may require a valid 'passed' inspection report before they can license and insure the vehicle.

Due to privacy laws, ICBC cannot release further details to anyone other than the vehicle's owner.

Please note: Since Notice and Orders are added to vehicle records by Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE), there may be a delay in ICBC's records reflecting the addition or removal of a Notice and Order. For more information about Notice and Orders, your customer may contact CVSE's Vehicle Inspection department at 250-952-0577 or by email at [email protected].

​If "Licensing Restriction" appears on the report, this means there may be certain restrictions (other than the requirement for a mechanical/safety inspection) that might prevent your customer from licensing the vehicle. (Some examples: a Court Order which prevents your customer from transferring the vehicle into their name; the vehicle may have been reported as stolen; etc.)

Due to privacy laws, ICBC cannot release further details to anyone other than the vehicle's owner.

The report may list one or more of the following:

Repairs: Payment was made to repair damage to the vehicle.

Estimate: Estimated cost to repair the vehicle's damage, less taxes. Note: The estimate may not reflect the actual cost of repairs. For example, hidden damage may be found when the vehicle is being repaired at the repair facility. The vehicle may have a repair estimate; however, it's possible that the nature and extent of damage may make the vehicle a total loss and not economical to repair.

No Details: No details may display if ICBC:

  • Does not have an estimate of the vehicle's damage and

  • Has not made a payment with respect to the damage (e.g., has not paid for repairs or made a settlement).

For more information, see Statements of Limitation.

Your customer should consider having the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic.

Total Loss: A vehicle is a total loss when it is not economical to fix it or when it cannot be sufficiently repaired to be operated safely. A stolen vehicle that was not recovered when the claim was settled may also show as a "Total Loss" on the Vehicle Claims History Report. The dollar amount of a total loss settlement is not available.

Cash Settlement: A cash settlement represents the amount ICBC paid to a vehicle owner, in lieu of paying for full repairs. A cash settlement amount is usually a percentage of the overall repair amount. The extent of damages and safety of the vehicle are considered prior to determining if a cash settlement is appropriate.

Contract: A contract repair was a method of resolving a claim where ICBC negotiated with a repair shop a set price for total repairs to the vehicle. The vehicle owner may have chosen this as an option if the estimated repair costs exceeded the value of the vehicle. The extent of damages and safety of the vehicle were considered prior to determining if a contract repair was appropriate.

Please note: Contract repairs are no longer offered.

For most claims, the reports list the location of the primary area of damage. This is the area on the vehicle that costs the most (or was initially estimated to cost the most) to repair. Note: Other areas of the vehicle may have also been damaged.

The primary area of damage may not necessarily be the area of the vehicle that sustained the greatest forces of impact. For a few types of claims (such as glass claims) we are unable to publish the primary area of damage, as our systems are unable to retrieve this information.

Your Vehicle Claims History Report may show a type of claim that you or your customer are unfamiliar with. The following list will help define the terms used in the Vehicle Claims History Report. If you have more questions, please Contact Us.

Animal Collision: Damage caused by a collision with a domestic or wild animal (dead or alive), except an animal being transported as cargo.

Collision: Damage caused by collision with an object or a vehicle.

Comprehensive: Damage caused by something other than collision. Damage can be caused by falling or flying objects, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, rising water, riot, or civil commotion.

Fire: Damage caused by a fire.

Flood: A flood vehicle is defined as a vehicle that has been immersed in a liquid to the bottom of the dashboard or to a level affecting any of the major electrical system components, and/or a vehicle contaminated with toxic or biohazardous fluid that renders the vehicle unsafe due to toxic hazard.
The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators' Guidelines define the "bottom of the dash" as: "the area where the floor meets the firewall at the seam". As of 2008, flood vehicles could not be licensed and insured in B.C.

Glass: Glass claims involving accidental breakage of any window of a vehicle, including a sunroof.

Sound/Communication: This means a claim was made under a Special Sound and Communication Equipment Endorsement. This endorsement covers sound and communication equipment that was not supplied by or available from the vehicle's manufacturer and is not permanently attached to the vehicle. Items typically covered include speakers attached to the vehicle with Velcro tape, used in combination with a permanently attached car stereo. Sound and Communication equipment designed to be operated in a location other than the vehicle is excluded.

Special Equipment: This means a claim was made under an Excess Special Equipment Endorsement. This endorsement provides insurance for loss of or damage to extra items that were added to the vehicle. It covers permanently attached equipment that was not supplied by or available from the vehicle's manufacturer and exceeds a certain value. Items typically covered include a custom paint finish, special wheels, and a permanently attached non-manufacturer's stereo.

Theft: The claim may be for theft from the vehicle or total theft of auto (please see below).

Theft from vehicle: Damage caused by theft of parts or attached equipment from a vehicle (e.g., stereo, wheels, winch, etc.). This also includes damage to a vehicle that is a result of theft or attempted theft of articles from the vehicle. Example: side window has been broken to gain entry to a vehicle and a stereo was stolen.

Total theft of auto: The vehicle was stolen.

Unknown: Type of claim is yet to be determined.

Vandalism: Damage caused by vandals.

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a series of letters and numbers assigned by the vehicle's manufacturer and, since the 1980s, is unique to every vehicle. Most modern VINs are 17 characters long. Vehicles manufactured prior to 1981, and rebuilt vehicles may have fewer characters. You can find the VIN on the dashboard identification plate, on the doorpost, and on the engine firewall. The VIN on the vehicle must match the VIN on the vehicle's registration documents. In older vehicles, and conversationally, the VIN is sometimes called the serial number.

If you are having difficulty finding the VIN on the vehicle, or the system is unable to find a match for the VIN you are researching, please contact us.

All vehicles in North America are assigned a status to describe the general state of the vehicle and whether it qualifies to be licensed.

Vehicle status is used to track:

  • Vehicles sold by insurance companies as salvage,

  • Salvage vehicles which have been rebuilt, inspected, and relicensed, and

  • Wrecked vehicles that have been decommissioned and can only be resold for parts.

Please note: Vehicle status alone does not fully describe a vehicle's mechanical condition or damage history.

There are five vehicle status types in B.C.:

Altered status: This status is given to a vehicle that has been significantly modified after its manufacture. (An example of this type of modification would be a vehicle with a suspension height altered by more than 10 cm, such as a "big foot" pickup.) It is also used for homemade and some other constructed vehicles to indicate that they have been inspected and are structurally sound. The status is added when the vehicle has passed inspection.

Normal status: If a vehicle does not have a status of rebuilt, salvage, non-repairable or altered, it is considered to have a normal status. "Normal" is simply a term used for the purposes of vehicle registration. A normal status does not mean the vehicle has never been damaged or is in good mechanical condition.

Rebuilt status: This status is assigned to "salvage" vehicles after they have been repaired and have passed inspection.

Salvage status: This status is given to a vehicle that has been written off in an accidental loss, but has the potential to be repaired or reconstructed. The vehicle must be repaired and inspected before it can be licensed or reinsured.

Non-repairable: This status is given to a vehicle that:

  • Has been written off or otherwise decommissioned,

  • Cannot be repaired due to structural or safety impairment, and

  • Can never be relicensed or insured

A non-repairable vehicle may be used only for parts or scrap.